Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) today announced that he will introduce legislation to “uncap” Pennsylvania’s successful Film Production Tax Credit program, allowing it to be used more efficiently to create jobs.
“The film tax credit has created an industry in Pennsylvania,” Senator Pileggi said. “Establishing an ‘uncapped’ program here, as about a dozen other states have done, will allow us to take full advantage of the program’s potential.”
With an “uncapped” credit, Senator Pileggi said, the Department of Community and Economic Development will have more flexibility to commit to multi-year productions and will be able to more effectively budget for the film tax credit. The General Assembly would continue budgeting the estimated amount of the credit in each fiscal year.
Other states with an “uncapped” credit have seen a significant increase in the number of film and television productions in the state, along with a corresponding increase in the number of film-related jobs.
A detailed report from the Independent Fiscal Office, released today, concludes that “uncapping” the film tax credit would have a significant positive impact on Pennsylvania’s economy with a minimal cost in the coming fiscal year.
“The film tax credit is a strong tool for job creation generally, and it’s proven to be a tremendous way for Pennsylvania to fight ‘brain drain’ in particular,” Senator Pileggi said. “One of the reasons I’m introducing this bill is to help reverse the decades-long trend of Pennsylvania losing talented young people to other states.”
The program, created in 2004, encourages film and television production work to be done in Pennsylvania. To qualify for a credit, a production must incur at least 60 percent of its production expenses in Pennsylvania. The amount of the credit is equal to 25 percent of qualified production expenses.
Recognizing the growing importance of digital interactive media, such as videogames, and the need to support the growing number of Pennsylvania businesses creating jobs in the film and television industries, Senator Pileggi’s bill will also create a tax credit for videogame production done in Pennsylvania and provide a new incentive for film and television post-production work to be done in Pennsylvania.
The IFO report, requested by Senator Pileggi, shows that in 2011 (the most recent year for which data is available), Pennsylvania was the fifth highest-ranking state in terms of film-related employment, behind only California, New York, Florida and Texas. Also in 2011, film-related wages in Pennsylvania totaled $248 million.
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